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Produce a Receipt on Your Way Out of the Store? No, Thanks!

Most of us have been "asked" by the Exit Door Receipt Guy at places like Best Buy or IKEA to produce a receipt for the items with which we are leaving the store. But what right do these pseudo-cops have to force you to show them a receipt or to detain you if you tell them to pound sand and just keep on walking?

That's what Consumerist reader Andrew would like to know after a recent trip to IKEA. Andrew says that

after going through the self check out a man not in any uniform (Ikea or otherwise) asked to see my receipt. What he said was " I need to see your receipt."

I complied and after about a minute I said, "you have another 10 seconds and then I am leaving." He replied with "you will let me finish." I demanded my receipt and he told me that "if you do not let me check you could be arrested". Needless to say I became irate and demanded both my receipt and a manager. He refused to give me the receipt and then pointed to a phone on the cashier podium and said "you can call the manager yourself."

We got into a yelling argument all the while he refused to give me the receipt. Finally an employee called a manager.

When the manager came, he had no name tag, refused his own name and told me "you have to let us check, if not you will go to jail."

I demanded his name and the name of the "security" person, both refused.

Finally after several minutes I was given my receipt. This can not be normal for Ikea to operate this way and detain people.

According to prior discussions on Consumerist, the store's right to mess with you (or not) depends on two things: (1) whether the store is membership-based and has required members to agree to a search in the  contract (i.e., Sam's Club/Costco), and (2) whether the shopper in question has given the store probable cause to believe he or she has committed shoplifting. Absent an agreement or probable cause, Consumerists states, "a retailer has absolutely no right to detain you." Not to stir up trouble but Consumerist and other sources say that means "bag searches and receipt checks are voluntary. As in, you can refuse."

Heisman Has anyone tried giving the Heisman to a receipt checker on your way out of a store? What was the response?

Posted by Bruce Carton on July 22, 2010 at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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